Keywords: ikea marketing mixture, b and q marketing mix
As the biggest competition of IKEA, B&Q is a leading company in home decor and gardening in European countries. It had been founded by Richard Block and David Quayle in Portswood, Southampton in 1969. Presently, there are above 60 stores around the world, among which, the most significant one in Beijing. (B&Q, 2010 a)
Market segmentation is classifying consumers into organizations according with their characteristics (Hall et al, 2008) and place certain groups as goals. Market segmentation involves four types, including geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioral type. (Hall et al, 2008).
Another concept worried about market segmentation is marketing combination. It's important in online marketing strategy, with an objective of satisfying consumers' needs. Additionally it is named the 4Ps, comprising product, price, place and campaign. (Hall et al, 2008).
The objective of this report is to analyze how IKEA and B&Q offer with marketing combine and marketing segmentation. Furthermore, the emphasis of the survey is how these two companies differentiate products to different targeted sections, as well as the way they combine market segmentation with marketing combine to make revenue.
IKEA targets young and elegant people as its main consumers; specifically those love modern furniture and accessories. Therefore, its products are definitely more bright colored and novel. In addition, IKE fixes the products' prices at a lesser level, which is quite attracting for the average consumers, such as white-collars. (IKEA, 2010 b)
Different from IKEA, B&Q is specialised in a single stop shopping, in which, customers can purchase most decor and accessaries they want in a single store. Furthermore, B&Q has professional teams to help customers developing and designing in their own styles. The purpose of this service is to provide convenience for customers who don't have much time to cope with decoration. (B&Q, 2010 b)
In assessment, IKEA's focuses on are mainly teenagers who love progressive items, while B&Q targets one stop shopping with people who have not much free time as its major consumers. Furthermore, the IKEA products are usually shown as models, which can be set and limited. However, customers are able to buy raw materials from B&Q and make any product.
As a "total principle", product identifies all merchandises and services provided with a business. Therefore, product is more than physical stuffs sold by stores (Hall et al, 2008). IKEA's major products are furniture, such as kitchen modules, bathroom facilities, lighting equipment, sofas and textiles. (IKEA, 2010 b) It offers fantastic quality and a particular name to every product, and will be offering a variety of home furnishings with best aesthetic designs and functions at acceptable prices. (IKEA, 2010 b)
B&Q stores source with around 40, 000 products for home fixtures, such as lighting, door holders and lawnmowers. (B&Q, 2010a) Its feature is a variety of products for home adornment. Additionally, B&Q has professional clubs to help personalized creating. (B&Q, 2010 c)
The products of Both B&Q and IKEA are complementary. They offer a full range of products, as well as professional designers. However, a most significant difference between them is the fact, IKEA only markets finished products, whereas B&Q provides recycleables as well.
There remain 330 IKEA stores in 38 countries. (IKEA, 2010d) For most of them, the merchandise are viewed in a specific and scientific classification. Further, there are floor pained arrows to lead consumers quickly find the things they need. For instance, all the products for a room are shown aesthetically by being inserted an individual model room. (Guangzhou IKEA, 2010) Besides entity stores, IKEA also allows consumers to do e-shopping on its website with an easy reviewing of the facts of the merchandise.
As for B&Q, there are 371 stores in total, with 41 stores in China. Corresponding to statistical data, there are over three million customers walking into B&Q per week. In addition, it includes an online site for consumers to find the details of the products. (B&Q, 2010a) Moreover, B&Q's operating-system is GMS (General Products Store), thus all products in B&Q are positioned on racks for consumers to choose widely. (B&Q, nd)
Both of two companies sell products mainly to get. Besides, they both open up stores in areas with large population. Moreover, the two companies have websites to offer online shopping. Alternatively, one of the differences is their operating settings. The IKEA stores have clinically grouped all products so that consumers can easily and easily find what they want. In contrast, the B&Q stores are the GMS (Standard Merchandise Store) setting.
Promotion is to propagandize products through all methods available (Hall et al, 2008). The essential promotional tool of IKEA is its free catalogue with a set of its products. The IKEA Catalogue includes commodities' details, such as colors, sizes and prices. (IKEA, 2010 e) It really is worthy to say that, IKEA also set up a group known as Social Effort, aiming at strengthening the partnership between IKEA and the modern culture. This group works together with UNICEF and Save the kids, with the purpose of supplying all children a better life. (IKEA, 2010 f)
Discount is a powerful promotion B&Q uses to attract consumers. Much like IKEA, B&Q also has policies to show its public responsibility. As for this, B&Q makes great work on environment coverage in the methods of product design, product packaging and the utilization of materials. To some extent, advocating environmental products is also a useful campaign skill of B&Q. (B&Q, 2010 e)
Both IKEA and B&Q construct their own websites to introduce their commodities and provide consumers with e-shopping service. B&Q's most frequently used promotional solution is discounting, while IKEA publicizes its products by free catalogue. To be able to fulfill their public tasks, they both have actions to make contribution to the culture. Although their promotional measures are different, they have got the same purpose to make more profits.
The price is simply the amount of money that consumers pay to gain the benefits associated with the product (Hall et al, 2008). The costs of IKEA's products are placed fairly. It adopts impressive manufacturing ways to products at a lower cost. Consumers' choosing, assembling and carrying products independently can reduce the price. (OPPAPERS, 2010) One method IKEA uses is mantissa charges, fixing the prices with 9s, such as 299, 699 and 799 yuan, offering customers the feeling of cheapness. (Guangzhou IKEA, 2010)
B&Q fixes most commodities with appropriate prices for the average consumer. Besides, it offers discount to draw in consumers. Furthermore, B&Q offers installment payment service, which is another effective campaign strategy. (B&Q, 2010 c)
According to OPPAPERS (2010) and B&Q (2010c), both of these set the prices of these products fair and appropriate. The prices of B&Q products are a little lower than IKEA's. However, IKEA's consumers do not need to pay extra costs for assistance and travelling, which is a quite attracting policy. On the other hand, B&Q has more beneficial services such as discounting and installment payment.
In final result, both IKEA and B&Q are successful furniture sales businesses. They separate their consumers into teams in accordance with types of market segmentation: demographics, psychographics and behavioral. The variations in 4Ps between IKEA and B&Q were also reviewed in the newspaper. Moreover, however the IKEA products' prices are greater than B&Q, their products and locations are similar. Besides, they both have various promotional skills, such as discounting and set up service.
Although both these two companies have large sales amounts, it continues to be a necessity to enhance marketing mix, for their assembly service charges are somewhat greater than people's expectation. The sales volume could be better if they can decrease the price somewhat. On the other hand, it's advocated that B&Q's products could become more fashionable and colourful in order to attract more radiant consumers. Additionally it is recommended that both companies perform daily habit market research to be able to know well of consumers' feedbacks.
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